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So you want to make Albuquerque Better?

When it comes to making Albuquerque more bikeable, from safer streets to improved public transportation, the work BikeABQ does is only one facet of the various options for getting involved. Albuquerque is rather special in its assortment of citizen committees, especially since the city is small enough that passionate advocates can play an important role through membership in these committees.

From our perspective, there are four city committees that are particularly important and relevant to the goals of BikeABQ: 

  • Greater Albuquerque Active Transportation Committee (GAATC), which advises the city on matters relating to bicycling infrastructure and policies, as well as other forms of active transportation.

  • Greater Albuquerque Recreational Trails Committee (GARTC), which advises several levels of government about the creation and upkeep of trails in the Albuquerque area (although lack of membership has limited its activity lately).

  • Transit Advisory Board (TAB), which advises ABQRide, the city transit department, on issues relating to the structure and operation of the city transit system.

  • Environmental Planning Commission (EPC), which plays a decision-making role in some zoning-related matters and acts as an advisory body to the City Council in more significant matters, such as updates to the City’s zoning code.

In all of these, committee members get to speak directly with city officials in their respective purview areas. These committees are often the first to hear of new initiatives or updates to existing ones; for example, TAB got to see analysis of the city’s ongoing ABQRideForward network redesign weeks before the document was published publicly, and GAATC has seen periodic status updates to the Alameda Drain Trail project. This provides a unique opportunity for committee members to mold these projects, asking about the presence or quality of bicycle infrastructure, crossings, and other aspects of concern.

Membership in any of these is fairly simple, although the EPC is slightly more complex due to its true decision-making ability. Each requires the ability to attend an online meeting once a month and some boards have geographic requirements—the details of which can be found on the committee’s respective website above. Furthermore, GAATC and GARTC require members to be residents of the greater Albuquerque area, TAB requires members to be residents of Albuquerque proper, and EPC requires members to be both a resident of Albuquerque and have professional experience in a field relevant to urban planning or civil engineering. 

The current vacancies for the committees are as follows:

  • GAATC (3): one for a representative of individuals with a disability, one for a resident of NW Albuquerque, and one for a resident of SW Albuquerque.

  • GARTC (8): one from either side of the Rio Grande and one representing each of the active elderly population, equestrians, off-road bicyclists, pedestrians and hikers, the physically challenged, and runners and joggers.

  • TAB (6): no restrictions beyond needing to be a city resident.

  • EPC (4): one each for a resident of council districts 1, 2, 4, and 7 (respectively mid-west side, downtown, north, and uptown; you can find which district you live in here)

If this sounds like something you could do, reach out to us! The BikeABQ board has substantial experience working with the city’s commissions and we would be happy to answer questions and help you prepare an application. These committees are only as good as their members, and so the more bicycle and related communities are represented, the better!

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